3MT Faculty

The 3MT team bring a variety of teaching experiences and a strong educational background to the classroom.

Mary Kay Leatherman received her undergraduate degree, Bachelor of Arts and Secondary Education, from Creighton University. She taught English, Journalism, and Creative Writing for three years in Fremont, Nebraska at Archbishop Bergan High School. She then taught in Omaha, Nebraska, for nine years at Burke High School. The Peter Kiewit Foundation presented her with the 1992 Nebraska Teacher Achievement Award for Excellence in Classroom Teaching. In 1995, Mary Kay received the Showcase Teacher Award from The University of Nebraska. In 1994 she was honored as the Burke High School Outstanding Teacher of the Year. Mary Kay was a 1996 winner of the Alice Buffett Outstanding Teacher Award. Mary Kay has published two books and continues to write and teach part-time while developing the 3MT program. Her debut novel, Vanity Insanity, was released in January of 2014.

Janice is a math professor in the Mathematics Department at the University of Nebraska at Omaha. She earned a Ph.D. in Mathematics Education in 1990 and initially worked with the teaching and learning of mathematics in freshman-level mathematics courses, and focused research efforts on the learning of math by under-represented populations. Dr. Rech also served as the Principal Investigator for the Eastern Regional Mathematics and Science Coalition, as part of the Nebraska Statewide Systemic Initiative. Since then, she has worked extensively with teachers of mathematics at every level. She has developed a sequence of courses to prepare elementary teachers to teach mathematics. Dr. Rech also serves as the Dual Enrollment Calculus Coordinator for the University and works closely with high school calculus teachers. Additionally, she serves as an AP Calculus Consultant for College Board and delivers workshops for teachers throughout the country.

Meghan Townley graduated from Saint Louis University with her Bachelor of Arts in English with a concentration in Creative and Professional Writing. She has worked at various magazines in New York City including Harper's Bazaar, Bene Italian Life & Style, BRIDE'S, and Good Housekeeping. She has a Masters in Secondary Education from Creighton University and teaches Composition, Creative Writing and American Literature at Creighton Preparatory High School. In 2014, Meghan received two Relevant and Innovative Teaching Awards: “Better Understanding Prep/Benson-Harlem Renaissance in the ‘20’s” and “Digital Composition: Podcast Project.” In addition to teaching, Meghan continues freelance writing while working towards her Masters of Fine Arts in Creative Writing at Creighton University.

Rhonda Betzold received her Bachelor of Arts degree in English Literature from California State University at Northridge and her Master of Arts degree in Secondary Education from the University of Nebraska at Lincoln. She served as a Family-Teacher at Boys Town for 6 years before joining the English department at Millard North High School in 2003. In addition to teaching Creative Writing and Honors English, she has taught English literature and Theory of Knowledge in the International Baccalaureate program at Millard North for 8 years, and is an international examiner for the IB program as well.

Tanya Archie received her undergraduate degree, Bachelor of Arts in Mathematics Education from Northwestern College, St. Paul, MN in 1995. She received her Masters Degree in Teaching from the University of Nebraska Lincoln in 2010. She is currently working on her administration degree. She has been with OPS for 20 years in which she taught all levels of mathematics from 5th grade mathematics up to AP Calculus. She was a recipient of the Alice Buffett Outstanding Teacher award in 2013. She was chosen as a master teacher for the state of Nebraska through a Noyce Fellowship program through UNL. She is currently a secondary math coach for Omaha Public Schools and is a part-time instructor at UNO. She has worked with preparing individuals in test prep for ACT on a one-on-one basis, in the public school system as well as LSAT, PPST and GRE test preparations.

Jay Opperman has served in roles as a teacher, an instructional technology specialist, and a school principal. This included 11 years teaching courses in Physical Science, Chemistry, Physics, and Honors Physics, 2 years focused on supporting teachers in utilizing technology as an instructional tool, and 18 years as a school principal. Mr. Opperman recently started a new role at Omaha Northwest High School as an Instructional Facilitator supporting staff in achieving improvement goals for student performance. He thrives on helping students navigate from high school to post high school options.

Carol Atwater received her Bachelor’s in Chemistry Education from Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah, and her Master’s in Chemistry from the University of Northern Colorado. She taught high school Chemistry for three years at Omaha South High School. She now works as a lecturer, teaching Chemistry labs at the University of Nebraska at Omaha, and loves it. In 2019 she received the Excellence in Teaching Award from the College of Arts & Sciences.

Sharon Eblen has been a passionate science educator in a variety of roles since her own days in high school, when she was part of a student group who traveled to perform science demonstrations for elementary students. Since then she has worked as a lab TA at Kansas State University, an instructor at Science City at Union Station in Kansas City, and as a teacher at Omaha South High School and Millard North High School. She has taught a variety of chemistry and physics classes at all levels in both high schools. Sharon holds a bachelor’s degree in Secondary Education from Kansas State University and a master’s degree in Curriculum and Instruction from Doane University. Currently she enjoys teaching chemistry, physics, and International Baccalaureate Physics at Millard North.

Nikae Perkinson is an award winning, innovative science educator with over three decades of experience teaching diverse students at the collegiate and K-12 levels throughout the United States. After earning her bachelor’s degree in Chemistry from Bryn Mawr College (Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania) and her Master’s degree in Inorganic Chemistry from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Nikae embraced teaching as her life passion. Her teaching career includes extensive classroom experience, as well as the development of science curriculum, holding leadership positions in schools and the community, and pioneering engaging, impactful programmatic events such as service-learning experiences and science expositions. She is proud to currently teach chemistry at the University of Nebraska at Omaha and always aims to make a positive difference in the lives of her students.

Instructor Videos

Mary Kay Leatherman

Dr. Janice Rech

Sara Smith

Molly Atherton

Parent Testimonials

go3MT Photography

Thank you to Billings Photography for taking our pictures for this website.
Billings Photography